District Experiences Staff and Board Turnover

By Marina Furbush

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Next school year will see a lot of turnover in district administration,.Superintendent Laurie Kimbrel and Assistant Superintendent of Education and Human Resources Michael McDowell will leave the district June 30, and Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Facilities Lori Parrish also retired April 23.
In addition, Board President Cindy McCauley, and board members Bob Walter and Michael Futterman’s terms all end this November. They have served on the board eight, 13 and one years, respectively.
All of them are eligible to run again, but at this point none of the board members have declared if they will to run for the board again. The election will be held on November 3.
“[If all three board members did not return] that would be a majority of the board, which would have an impact especially given the openings we have in the administration at the District Office right now,” McCauley said. “I know my first year was difficult because there is a lot to learn about governance and responsibilities of a board member in addition to learning about the complex issues of the district.”
Walter believed that the impact on the district would depend on who was elected, but he cautioned that the board is guided by previously decided plan. “The district is not run by personality. It’s the fact that people will change in these positions, it’s just a given in any business and it’s a given in universities and certainly in education. But that’s why one has a mission statement and a strategic plan and a plan of action, because that’s the blueprint,” Walter said. “In theory, everyone is working from that plan of action.”
The new superintendent will help decide the replacements for McDowell and Parrish. “The new superintendent will work with the board on the organizational structure for the future when she/he is hired,” said Walt Buster, the transistion team leader appointed by county superintendent of education, Mary Jane Burke.
The replacements may not be hired before the start of the school year, depending on when the superintendent is hired. In the mean time the district will be assisted by as well as other interim personel to fill the vacant positions.
“[Parrish] has been replaced temporarily by Terri Ryland, an experienced fiscal manager,” Buster said. “We are now working with School Services of California to recruit a permanent assistant superintendent to replace [her].”
In addition, Barbara Vrankovich has “responsibility for general administration, including Human Resources,” according to an email sent out by McCauley on May 28.
The office of educational services will be run by current senior directors until a replacement can be found. “[McDowell was the supervisor of] curriculum and instruction….but [Senior Directors] Tara Taupier and Kim Stiffler actually handled the majority of the actual on-the-ground work in that area and they’ll continue until someone comes in,” Walter said.
McCauley and Walter’s seats are open for the full four year term while Futterman’s seat is open for a two year term. “[The candidate] would have a two year term because that would be the remainder of the term for which my predecessor was serving,” Futterman said.
The board is currently in the midst of hiring a new superintendent, “It is our hope that a new leader will begin during the summer months prior to the start of school,” McCauley wrote in the email.
The results of the election for the board of trustees positions will be certified no later than December 3.